Gardaí have ordered a Dublin beauty salon to close after it reopened despite level 5 restrictions.
C and N Beauty Rooms in Balbriggan has been taking clients since 10.30am this morning.
One hour and 20 minutes after opening, the salon received a knock on the door from gardaí and was ordered to close.
Locals have mixed views about the business going against the guidelines.
“No I don’t think I’ll support them, because I’d rather get out of this as quickly as possible,” said one person.
Another local said: “Beauty salons, hairdressers, they can only have so many people in at one time anyway, so they were never overcrowded.”
In a statement issued to BreakingNews.ie, a Garda spokesperson said: “Gardaí have attended a retail premises on Dublin Street in Balbriggan and are investigating alleged breaches of public health regulations.
“In respect of regulations, which are declared to be Penal Regulations under the Health Act 1947 as amended, An Garda Síochána continue to adopt the approach of the Four Es which see Gardaí engage, explain, encourage, and as a last resort, enforce.
“Where Gardaí find potential breaches of the public health regulations advices of the DPP will be sought or Fixed Payment Notices will be issued where appropriate.”
Owner Christine McTiernan told Newstalk: “I am taking a stand on my behalf. This is for me. I have to do what I have to do to pay my bills and that is what is important to me.”
Ms McTiernan added: “I have to put food on the table. I have to pay my rent. All my bills have to be paid.
“What is happening does not stop my bills from coming so I have to pay them. So yes, it is purely for survival I am doing this.”
Robbie Connaughton, owner of Barber Bobs in Athlone, said “black market activity in the hair industry is rife” on RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne programme this morning.
He suggested allowing hairdressers to reopen for two weeks as a way to counter this trend.
Mr Connaughton said: “The Government can’t expect people to be going around with three to four, or five months of hair growth.”
He said people who still have to go to work, including frontline workers, are “forced to go to the black market” to get hair cuts.
Ms Byrne said some people were cutting their hair themselves, but Mr Connaughton insisted that the majority are looking to the black market.
“90 per cent of people are, all you have to do is look around you, everybody is getting their hair cut because they have to. There are 25,000 people employed in this sector and at least 10,000 of them are really struggling. If you have that many people struggling with people reaching out to them for hair cuts, they’re visiting homes without taking precautions, spreading the virus.”